Domestic Partnership Agreement

When to use Domestic Partnership Agreement

Since the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to marry, the number of official domestic partnerships registered with the government has dropped dramatically. However, this phrase is still used to describe any kind of cohabitating couple that remains unwed. The number of Americans choosing to live with a significant other without first getting married is at an all-time high. There are numerous reasons why couples would choose to live together without saying “I do” first. The only problem with this arrangement is that it does not receive the same kind of legal protection that living with a legally recognized spouse does. It is for this reason that unmarried yet cohabitating significant others should strongly consider drafting a cohabitation agreement. This document functions as a legally enforceable contract, much in the same way that a prenuptial agreement does. It therefore affords unwed, cohabitating couples legal, financial and property-related protections that they would not otherwise be extended under the law.


If you are currently unmarried and living with your significant other, you can use this customizable cohabitation agreement template as a means to detail the financial, property-related and/or practical expectations of your arrangement. For example, if your significant other’s name is not on the lease but you want to ensure that he or she upholds a commitment to split monthly rent payments, this could serve as a term of your agreement. You may also choose to outline expectations for how joint ownership of any pets you have will be treated in the event of a breakup. You can also specify that you want your significant other to inherit certain property in the event that you unexpectedly pass away, that you want your significant other to be granted permission to visit you in the hospital and that you authorize your significant other to make burial arrangements for you in the event you pass away. Just like drafting a prenuptial agreement does for engaged couples, drafting a cohabitation agreement allows unmarried couples to enforceably articulate their expectations and secure a newfound measure of legal protection.

Alternative Names

Cohabitation Contract
Cohabitation Agreement
Cohabitation Agreement for Unmarried Couples
Cohabitation Agreement for Unmarried Partners
Cohabitation Contract for Unmarried Couples
Cohabitation Contract for Unmarried Partners